Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Monday, March 1, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) will no longer extend its deadline for applications or recommendations to the post of chief justice.
Guevarra, an ex-officio member of JBC, said there is no need for extension even if they are only three applicants to the post that will be vacated by Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta on March 27.
The secretary explained that under the JBC rules “there must be a minimum of three names in the short list for each vacant position, otherwise the opening will be republished.”
Only Senior Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas Bernabe and Associate Justices Alexander G. Gesmundo and Ramon Paul L. Hernando accepted their automatic nominations and submitted the required documents.
They are set to face the public in an interview starting March 10, SC Spokesperson lawyer Brian Keith F. Hosaka said.
It is expected that one of them will be appointed chief justice by the President anytime after Peralta’s retirement.
“By the JBC’s own rules, all five sitting senior AJs (associate justices) are automatically nominated, subject to their acceptance,” Guevarra said.
“Once they indicate their acceptance, all they need to do further is submit the requirements and undergo the interview,” he added.
The two other senior justices who did not accept their automatic nominations were Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa.